Casair Inc. 1-989-330-8749

About Us

Casair Building Photo

Contact

Phone: 989-831-8800
Fax: 989-831-5555
617 E. Lake St (M66)
Stanton, MI 48888-8902
Hours: Weekdays 8AM-12PM and 1PM-5PM

Mission

Our mission is to help people. We help by:

  • Providing affordable broadband Internet to our local rural residents that would otherwise have no options.
  • Providing Internet and data transport options to our local rural governments, 911 centers, public safety, colleges and businesses that have large bandwidth requirements they cannot cost effectively purchase from other providers due to their rural locations.
  • Providing services that are not readily available in our rural area such as computer repair and turn-key complete police vehicle outfitting.
  • Providing many other technical services. Give us a call, we are here to help.


Our local community supports us and we are proud to support our local community.


 

Company History

1987 The company first operated under the founders name Steven R. Meinhardt. He started writing computer code in C and dB4 language projects for customer's of his father’s accounting and Tax Services Company. He later started installing twisted pair cabling that would later become known as CAT3 spec. He did this while working full time at Greenville Tool and Die, a co-op job that started while in grade school. He worked under the late Stan Ash and was given the opportunity to advance his knowledge as the Computer System Administrator where he designed, setup, programmed and networked computers. Starting on the mainframe and later implemented the first PCs. Building computers and programming every aspect of the operation gave him insight to how a well run company operated. This also included college schooling along with several thousand hours of on-job training to obtain a journeyman die design certificate. His early use and views of the Internet system landed him in a book "Doing Business on the Internet" and a flurry of newspaper, magazines and TV interviews followed.
1995 Began designing and building his home that would become his first smarthome. Casair now typically completes at least one smarthome project per year. This would also become the second of four homes he has architected including electrical plans. He also designed and built our office building we currently occupy.
1996 With his wife finishing college at CMU and then obtaining a first grade teacher position he was able to take the risk of being self employed. His wife’s teaching position gave him a constant view of the help needed in the educational vertical market which would help shape the company in the future. Starting in his fathers garage he began designing, building and mass producing computer systems with the help of long time family friend and our current salesman Mike "Mac" McDaniel. The original machine that was sold to a neighbor used it for 10 years, 5 months and 7 days with only one upgrade before retiring it. This computer which was traded back in now sits as an image of our design and quality that continues today.
1996 1996 Began on-site technical work for his original employer and school districts.
1997 Working very long hours it became very clear it was time to start hiring help. He hired younger guys fresh out of school and gave them the same opportunity of on the job training that he was given. Two brothers were the first employees, one went on to become an engineer for NASA, the other worked for many years and later created a successful technical service company called SafetyNet located in Traverse City Michigan.. Adopted the DBA of "Crystal Automation Systems" in Montcalm County that became commonly known as "CAS" as was displayed on the vans.
1998 Our local ISD or Intermediate School District was awarded a grant to connect 58 buildings throughout Montcalm County. The funding amount was much too low to accomplish the task with traditional leased lines. Mr. Meinhardt worked hard on the bid engineering a cost effective solution. The solution was to cross the LATA line that cost $40k per year for a 1.5Mbit leased line. Replace it with a onetime cost of $22k system that comprised of a 10mbit wireless radio on both ends. The ISD then built two towers which also served many other needs. His other plan was to utilize dry copper leased from the phone companies to run early hardware based DSL. DSL would later become a standard in which many homes and business now use. This lowered not only the initial cost but lowered the monthly cost of lines to $64 a month and increased the bandwidth to as much as 7mb in some links. This was to become not only the first interconnection that these schools had but also the first Internet connection that most had. The ISD owned the network and CAS was the ISP and hired to operate it. This system would later be replaced with high speed wireless.
1999 Incorporated under the name "Crystal Automation Systems, Inc.". As we automated computer systems, machine shops, home automation and the like.
1999 As the family grew so did the need to move out of the house. Purchased the vacant 1152 sq ft former Tom's Archery building that includes a 1/2 block on M-66 in Stanton. We moved there shortly after.
2000 Casair participates in Student School to Work program. This gives students the opportunity to learn and advance their knowledge in the real world work environment. This continues to this day and we have regularly have interns from nearby technical colleges.
2001 During this timeframe many of the local buildings needed cabling infrastructure and we had the expertise with BICSI trained and certified cabling installers. We also handled designing, configuring and installing video distribution systems and TV studios. We became well known for all low voltage cabling needs.
2001 USF Universal Service Fund or E-Rate became available and many schools were having difficulty obtaining funding. Seeing the need to help other schools MR. Meinhardt approached a retiring school official George Winchell that is an expert with USF. He proposed a vendor neutral plan to create a help other schools on an hourly basis to process the extremely difficult and constantly changing USF paperwork. This proved extremely successful in bringing millions of dollars of USF funding into our area helping local rural schools. In 2002 the USF department was spun off into a separate company called Elite Fund, Inc and was eventually sold in 2006.
2001 With the need to replace expensive leased lines to the original CAS office and the Internet demands of the local municipalities. The above mentioned ISD tower was leased from the ISD. That tower serves as the ISD bus communications tower, county road commission repeater tower and Central Montcalm Public School's bus communication tower. This same tower is utilized by Casair to provide residential broadband to the local area and provides high speed internet to our local 911 center, County Behavior Health, County Courthouse, County Police, County Administration building, Health Department and County Road Commission. CAS then installed its own fiber directly to the School, ISD and adjacent tower to improve provided services. This fiber would be the first of many miles of fiber to come.
2001 In September after a lengthy beta test period of various equipment. Having to create the pieces that could not yet be purchased. CAS installed its first residential wireless customer to the home.
2001 Casair is awarded a 3 year contract to provide internet and all related services to all of CGRESD Clare Gladwin Regional Education School Districts Schools in Clare and Gladwin Counties. Casair design is to utilize existing fiber to provide very high speed access to each district. Casair provides all services such as email, email filtering, web hosting, content filtering, firewalls, DNS services. This contract will become renewed again. Casair also provided the same services to Mid Michigan Community College for both its Harrison and Mt. Pleasant campuses that continues today.
2002 Casair adds tower climbers to its employment. The climbers work in the cabling department when not on towers providing them constant work. We have certified tower climbers and maintain all of our own rescue equipment. We conduct annual day long training events where we watch training videos, rope training, knot training and actual tower rescue where every tower climber is a victim and a rescuer.
2002 The local ISD needed more capacity for its overloaded school system and then posted an RFP. Steve Meinhardt created the concept of utilizing cell towers and newly available 72mbit point to point wireless radio to create a very high speed network that could replace the ISD's existing overloaded network of slower leased lines. The network would consist of 72mbit radios configured in several rings around the county for redundancy. Then 36mbit radios would be utilized to feed local school districts along with some smaller building to building radios. CAS easily won the contract being under the next bidder by nearly $400k per year over, for 3 years.
2002 Casair decides on Astaro for its firewall and content filter solution. Casair works closely with Astaro over the following years to mold the product and provide its direction. Astaro will later become the number two firewall sold next to Checkpoint. Casair will later become one of the nation's largest reseller of the Astaro product line. Astaro started out as software only and was installed on Casair's designed and built hardware.
2002 Casair begins its Steve Meinhardt designed and Greg Ray Construction built building expansion that is our current building of today at 6000sq ft that includes a state of the art NOC Network Operation Center with a heat recovery system. The heat generated from our NOC is utilized to heat the entire downstairs, 3 offices upstairs, the lobby and bathroom. The security system with camera and proximity access is advanced. Lending technology from our SmartHome technology we installed an automation controller to handle automated events and remote control.
2003 Due to several factors including some name confusion with another company we obtained the DBA: "Casair, Inc.", adding "AIR" to the word "CAS" as a unique name we proudly display. AIR meaning wireless. Thus Casair. Pronounced cas’ air’, one word.
2003 Casair is awarded the video surveillance project for Central Montcalm Public School of 24 cameras. This system has computer based motion sensor recording and web based remote access. Before the project was completed it was used to determine a particular person of interest. Since then Casair has completed many large scale system including one that was used to apprehend a armed robber by putting the picture on Wood TV News8. We have since worked with Municipal Police, County Police, State Police and FBI to obtain video of their interest. We have installed this system in one courthouse as well.
2004 expanding from the original USF funded system we were awarded a competitive USDA/RUS broadband connectivity grant for $449k to bring broadband to the Village of Walkerville in Oceana County. This system would later be upgraded and area expanded on into Bitley. This system experienced a take rate beyond what the grant called for making it wildly successful and we are proud to make a difference in the area. This area will be expanded upon with our 2010 USDA/RUS grant into the Elbridge Township and Hart Township area.
2005 Casair begins selling wholesale, even to our competitors. We view everyone as a customer or partner and we are here to help. We are careful not to hurt our customers installation base. This arrangement continues today for tower climbing, Internet, transport and all services we provide.
2005 Casair is awarded the project for a large scale DBA Bi-Directional Cell Phone Amp system for CEI 's four floor building in Lansing. This provides cell phone coverage throughout the building.
2006 After installing GPS units in ambulances and fixing police cars issues Montcalm County approached us about outfitting the entire police car. Having our resident in-house vehicle expert Aaron Evan's we accepted and have since built every police car in our County plus several municipalities. We do things differently utilizing our industrial background. Steve Meinhardt engineers the electrical schematic and power distribution according the equipment using IEC standards. We install the Roll cages, computers/MDTs, GPS, Antennas, Two-Way radios. power distribution, surge suppression, timers, lights, wig-wags, customer printer brackets, gun mount and locks. We custom machine and weld anything we cannot buy.
2006 Casair adds consulting power system for network operation centers with our Liebert partnership coupled with our knowledge and testing equipment for grounding systems.
2007 Casair continually expanded its wireless footprint now with 37 broadcast tower locations.
2007 Casair purchases fiber from Sidney to Greenville which enables it to greatly improve services to the ISD and tower transmit sites.
2007 Casair create its Broadcast Group that takes on teaching students from the local school independent study program to do audio and video production. We do many events including a live FM broadcast of a baseball game at White Caps Park in Grand Rapids.
2007 Casair retires its main Cisco Layer3 switch. It had an actual uptime of 4 years, 51weeks, 1 day, 14 hours and 29 minutes.This certainly shows that the reliability of our UPS power system and generator system is very solid.
2008 Casair begans heavily investing in beta testing 4G WIMAX systems and gear.
2009 Casair began installing customers on WIMAX on Simi-Licensed band from its Dickerson Lake Rd tower. We've continued to rollout WIMAX on towers since providing greater speed and services.
2009 Casair fitting into our technology background utilizing RML's SAC system we add installing professional installed audio system to our offering. This will be a part of our broadcast group.
2009 Casair installs fiber from Central Montcalm School in Stanton to MCC Montcalm Community College. This then completes the link from Stanton to Greenville.
2009 Casair installed its first FTTH Fiber To The Home customer.
2010 Casair doubles it backbone upstream capacity
2010 Casair gets certified and begins offering Ruckus wireless gear.
2010 Casair designs, builds from the ground up its own hardened MDT computer system for emergency vehicles. Our system utilizes military spec keyboard and touch screens while using standard motherboards, processors and memory in our custom shock mounted cases in the rear of the vehicles. This enables future technology upgrades for only a few hundred dollars vs. thousands for the hardened ones. Keyboards and Monitors don't change often.
2010 Casair adds outfitting ambulances and emergency trucks to its emergency vehicles line.
2010 Casair is awarded $26.4 million in ARRA funding through USDA/BIP program. Our plan is to rollout a hybrid wireless and fiber system. The fiber path connects towers however it is routed to pass as many anchor institutions as possible giving them access to very high speed broadband. We were listed on the Whitehouse.gov website as one of two examples in the nation. A flurry of Radio, Newspaper and Magazine request followed. We are proud to bring this amount of money into our local area. Being highly completive with 1000s applications competing for $4.3Billion in funding makes us proud. Since the majority of the awardees are telcos we feel this makes us one of the nations top WISPs or Wireless Internet Service Providers. Today we have over 20 employees and are a proud member of our community sponsoring of many local events.
2010 Casair installs its third 4G WiMax base station.
2011 Casair broadcasts the first 2.5Ghz basestation in Montcalm County and is currently the only 2.5Ghz broadcaster of 4G wireless in the County.
2011 Casair officially becomes a CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier) paving the way for modern fiber optic and voice services as part of its expansion.
2011 Casair upgrades its vehicle suite with new vans, trucks, hydraulic lift and bucket truck.

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